Ice Storm Could Cost VT Power Companies More Than $10 Mil

Ice Storm Could Cost VT Power Companies More Than $10 Mil

Vermont electric companies say they have spent about $10 million combined to fix repairs. That money helped restore power to thousands of customers left in the dark.

Vermont electric companies say they have spent about $10 million combined to make repairs. That money helped restore power to thousands of customers left in the dark.

In all, at least 80,000 customers were without power in Vermont at some point this past week, according to Vermont Electric Cooperative and Green Mountain Power.

Dotty Schnure, spokesperson for Green Mountain Power said, "We had nearly 40,000 outages from when the storm started on Saturday until when we got everyone back on. All of our customers were back on by Tuesday afternoon."

This, however, doesn’t include the new power outages popping up from thawing trees falling on power lines.

As for outages from the storm itself, utility companies are now looking at some hefty bills.

Preliminary estimates put costs between $3 - $4 million for Green Mountain Power and over $6 million for VEC.

Both companies had workers in the field around the clock and contracted over a thousand more from across New England and New York.

They also say it's too early to tell if the responsibility for paying that bill will fall on the rate payers.

“We do have a storm budget but it's way too early in the year to be able to make that judgment,” said Schnure.

As for VEC members, reps said they're hoping to get FEMA reimbursements for the storm instead of increasing member rate and they could find out about those reimbursements next week.

They said today they plan on meeting with FEMA on January 2nd. That’s the same day Governor Shumlin hoped FEMA would visit to assess ice storm-related damage.

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